Quick Picks

By Dave Fratello | March 18th, 2009
Sales activity is slow in town, but not absent.

As the new MB Market Update spreadsheets (click to download) for the first half of March show, there were 7 sales of SFRs west of Sepulveda between March 1-15.

In fact, several sales (new escrows) over the past few weeks have come quickly, shortly after listings hit the market:
  • In the Hills late last month, it was 620 9th, a big (4br/4ba, 4500 sq. ft.) home near downtown with some views and a real need for updating. (See "Low on the Hill.") We counted 8 days till someone agreed that $2.199m was pretty peachy, and the listing switched to "backup offer" status. (Currently viewable via Redfin.)
  • 1712 The Strand is the priciest of the listings we'll discuss. After a few months of off-market promotion at $12m+, this new home came up in early March at $10.5m. Gone within 2 weeks. (Currently viewable via Redfin while in "backup offer" status.)
  • 112 19th Place in the Sand, a clean, if somewhat dated, cottage (3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) right along Ocean and, therefore, very near the beach, lasted 7 days at $1.295m.
  • 429 31st (4br/5ba, 3800 sq. ft.), a dandy Cape Cod up on the plateau (pictured), lasted 11 days at $2.199m (almost $300k below its May 2005 acquisition price).
  • 3505 Pacific (4br/3ba, 2850 sq. ft.) tolled 11 DOM before agreeing to an offer; it had begun at $1.299m, a bit below the Jan. 2004 acquisition price.
  • 2111 Valley is this cheapest of this pack, a full-size lot (4400 sq. ft.) with some kind of structure on it that blazed out of the blocks asking just $638k. What was that? A Tree Section lot with a "6" in front? Gone within 8 days.
There was something objectively good, or even great, about each of these listings. The best homes were the Strand home and the plateau home, of course, but 3505 Pacific was extremely charming and simply needed to be priced aggressively to get past its location issue.

The remaining 3 each provided the right tradeoffs between location, condition and price to be attractive.

All of these quick picks beat out properties in their submarkets that have lingered for 6 months, 9 months, even a year or more. Somehow they figured out the state of the market faster than sellers who have been living it a lot longer.

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